I personally really enjoyed this film. One about the importance of family and what it takes to mend together broken bonds, it shares both its sweet and sour moments with the audience in ways that bring about much laughter, sympathy and joy.
From the start to the finish, this movie captured my attention and I would not let go. Before I knew it, I had personally grown attached to the film. The way it depicts the importance of family in such an unusual way (a train ride across India) I felt was unique, creative and well done by director Wes Anderson. The Whitman brothers each share their own kind of character with the audience that allows for the viewers to relate on a more personal level, especially those with brothers or siblings themselves. I personally have three brothers so there was an immediate connection right off the bat. Although I have an elder brother, I felt as if I related the most with Francis, the eldest of the three that organized the entire trip in order to hopefully restore their relationships as a family. I personally do care a lot as well for my two younger brothers and feel that I would do the same if ever we were to drift a part.
The way the film makes use of symbolism as well I felt was done exceptionally well. Francis’ bandages for instance served as a constant reminder of the healing process that this family is going through. The juxtaposition in color (black and white) during the young Indian boy’s funeral contrasted to that of their own father’s funeral brought about much realizations about the three brothers, and marked a turning point in their growth as characters, that they are learning to genuinely care for one another. Although blunt and taken far too literal, the symbolism in the brother’s baggage of grief, distrust and disliking towards one another in the form of their own personal baggage (luggage) was actually expressed exceptionally well during the final moments of the film when the brothers are tossing aside their baggage and freeing themselves from the past, to look forward to a brighter future.
In fact, that was actually my favorite part of the film (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ni7nn792v0&feature=related). In slow motion whilst being led on by an uplifting soundtrack, when the brothers are racing towards a departing train only to toss aside their baggage, as if letting go of their grief and distrust for one another, it really made me feel for them, it brought compassion, relief and hope for these characters that seemed lost and misguided at the start of the film.
As for the short Hotel Chevalier, this brought more understanding to the film, especially to the character of Jack Whitman. Introducing his ex-girlfriend and how Jack acts around her, we as the audience see the struggle it is for Jack to let go of her. However as the ending of The Darjeeling Limited expressed their capabilities as brothers to finally let go of the past, it gives us hope for Jack, and ultimately for these brothers to finally mend their broken family bonds together.